The Customer Journey, Part 5: Retain
A company with no customer retention is tantamount to catching butterflies with a broken net. No matter how many customers you catch – with no reason or need to stay, they will simply keep abandoning your brand. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Depending on which study you believe, and what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.” Translation: retaining your customers is a must.
Doing so comes down to a few key actions: Establishing ongoing touchpoints, creating a positive experience with each engagement, building trust and loyalty and solving any customer problems.
- Throughout the entirety of the customer journey, engaging touchpoints are the key to keeping the lines of communication open with your customer. Once you have acquired a customer, these touchpoints transition from selling specific products or services to encouraging continued interaction with your brand. Whether this engagement comes in the form of a survey or a reminder of new services, frequent interactions ensure your brand is never forgotten. OSG Calendar Inserts are a perfect yearly touchpoint – a new calendar every December puts your brand in front of the customer and ensures it stays there throughout the year.
- Your customer’s experience should be at the center of every strategy and decision. If something doesn’t assist in creating a positive customer experience, what purpose does it serve in the customer journey? Customers look for brands that work to create those positive experiences, and they are willing to walk away from those that don’t put the appropriate time and energy into the task. With so many competitors in the marketplace, it comes down to whether or not your customer enjoys their interactions with your brand – because if they don’t, there are ten other brands right around the corner.
- Like a relationship with anyone else it takes time and patience to earn your customer’s trust and build loyalty. Both the products you offer as well as your level of service can impact the amount of trust a customer has with your brand. While building trust takes time and energy, breaking that trust can happen in an instant. Remember, each interaction has the potential to either continue building loyalty or completely break it – make sure your interactions lead to the building rather than the breaking.
- A problem-free customer relationship is the gold medal of accomplishments. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect utopia and thus must expect some problems to arise. Even the tiniest of customer issues can seem like a huge disaster if not handled appropriately. Problems are anticipated, but how you handle them determines how your customer views your brand and if they decide to stick with you. Solving problems quickly and efficiently shows your customers you listen to their needs and care about their experience with your brand.
Customers are fickle and quick to desert a brand if they feel it is no longer meeting their expectations. While you may be inclined to focus on growing your customer base, the time and energy put into maintaining the existing base will benefit your brand in the long run. Establishing a strategy to keep your customers happy will keep them by your side and buying your products. When it comes down to it, it pays to retain.